This Week in War Powers News – August 21, 2020

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The content below comes from the newsletter This Week in War Powers News, provided by the Committee for Responsible Foreign Policy.



Congress Tries Reclaiming Authority it Handed to President

Over the past 18 months, members of Congress have introduced resolutions and bills aimed at reasserting congressional authority. On Dec. 12, 2018, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) sponsored a joint resolution, which passed on a 56-to-41 vote. The measure used provisions of the Watergate-era War Powers Resolution to force an up-or-down vote on whether the president could deploy U.S. forces in Yemen. The senators claimed the president had no authority to do so.

That began an effort to reassert congressional authority over the president’s emergency and other powers. Here’s where it came from — and what it means. READ MORE.



Progressives Cool on Biden Foreign Policy

Progressive Democrats are somewhat pessimistic about what defense and foreign policy would look like in a Joe Biden presidency.

Though not as outwardly apparent as on domestic policy, progressives say the Biden campaign has been engaging with them on defense and foreign policy. And the left feels it has notched some wins on the 2020 draft Democratic platform.

But progressives also question how much that will translate to actual changes on troop levels in the Middle East, the defense budget and other areas of importance to them. READ MORE.



Democratic Party Platform Calls for Ending “Forever” Wars

The Democratic Party platform expected to be approved by party leaders this week includes plans to ensure military pay keeps pace with civilian wages, provide new tax credits for caregivers of injured veterans, and “rebalance our investments” in the Defense Department to limit wasteful spending.

The document also includes vows to “root out systemic racism from our military justice system” and “fight the scourge of rape and sexual assault in our military” as top national security priorities for the party for the next four years.

The Republican and Democratic party platforms — approved every four years as part of the presidential convention process — are designed to be guiding principles for political leaders as they outline their visions for governing the country. READ MORE.